LEADERSHIP / MAR. 06, 2014
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Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella's, Leadership Lessons to Live By

Satya Nadella Microsoft CEO

Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella is ready for whatever challenge comes his way. His energy and passion for the technology of the present and future has been inspiring for many – and now, he plans to impress the world.

Nadella has been with Microsoft since 1992, and he recently served as the company’s president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. In this role, according to a press release from Microsoft, “he led the transformation to the cloud infrastructure and services business, which outperformed the market and took share from competition.”

The New York Times recently published Nadella’s first full-length interview since his appointment. In it, he discusses his goals and where he wants to take Microsoft in the very near future. Following are some key insights from Nadella worth applying to your own life or business.

Build Your Team’s Confidence

Sometimes it’s difficult to ascertain exactly when a leader – or manager, if you will – should step in to give assistance to an employee and help them along. Occasionally, it works, but oftentimes the better strategy is to work quietly in the background, providing a gentle nudge here or there, but remain as transparent as possible. Nadella believes that one of the key things to work for is bolstering your team’s confidence. It’s one of the best ways to keep business healthy and moral high.

Recognize Innovation, Foster Growth

Things can happen pretty quickly in a business. You watch for all the signs: is it working? Do you need to do more of this, or less of that? Obviously, it makes sense to be concerned about the health of your business, but Nadella believes that you have to be intuitive to those successful moments. Key into them, grab on, and don’t let go. However, once you recognize the innovation, you’ll have to work as a team to build on that momentum and work hard to grow something tangible.

Finding Deep Meaning at Work

Wherever you are, whatever you plan to do, it’s what we do that ultimately defines us. It’s how we approach those daily tasks. In a way, work does define us in ways we hardly realize. Nadella sees finding deep meaning at work is a healthy approach. It can inspire longevity. If a company can really boast any type of staying power, it’ll probably have a lot to do with the team behind it. Nadella wants Microsoft to be around for more than a century, albeit, that team will have to deeply committed, not only to the company but also committed to excellence. Pride in one’s work is a naturally outgrowth of this.

Be Self-Aware

It’s so easy to relish in our own accomplishments and push aside those moments that didn’t quite go according to plan. One of Nadella’s tools when interviewing a prospective new hire is to ask them what they’re most proud of, and then follow that up by asking what regrets they might have had – in business. Nadella finds that the ability to be self-aware is also connected to one’s ability to learn. Bottom line: We learn as much from our accomplishments as we do from our mistakes. It’s the mistakes that actually spawn growth.

Focus on the Future, Ignore the Past

For many businesses, it’s easy to fall back on what you’ve done. To say how successful you were at doing something at a given time isn’t merely enough, warns Nadella. Consequently, sticking rigidly to how you’re currently doing something is almost as bad. How can you see the future if you’re stuck in the past and locked in the present? Use them as springboards to something far more fluid.

Nadella’s goals aren’t too different than most CEO’s these days. Companies want longevity and to be sustainable. Follow these leadership tips in order to achieve success within your company.

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